Nikita Pathakji, who has reached the final three of MasterChef: The Professionals, said standing in front of the judges is “genuinely terrifying”, but receiving glowing feedback is “the best feeling in the world”.
Following weeks of intense competition, three chefs have made it to the last round of the BBC cooking show after 32 ambitious cooks from across the country originally embarked on the journey.
Sagar Massey, Charlie Jeffreys and Pathakji will battle it out to impress judges Marcus Wareing, Gregg Wallace and Anna Haugh to be named MasterChef: The Professionals champion 2022 on Sunday.
“Of course you enter a competition to go all the way, but I never let myself dream that big. I always took it round by round. The first milestone for me was the critics round.
“I thought I would be satisfied with getting through at that stage, but as you get further and further, it’s hard to not want it more and more. I’ve definitely dreamt of getting that trophy.”
The 24-year-old said she learnt how competitive she is from being on the show, and that she can compose herself under “immense pressure”.
“But the most valuable part of MasterChef has been to receive in depth analysis of your food and when the critique is flawless, it’s just the best feeling in the world.
“To have the best chefs in the field tell you the food you’re creating is amazing is the ultimate validation.
“I’ve learnt how competitive I am. I think I knew this before, but getting positive feedback is addictive.”
Pathakji added that TV chef Jun Tanaka’s comments about her dish following the Chef’s Table challenge will stay with her “forever”.
The final of MasterChef: The Professionals will air at 6.15pm on Sunday on BBC One and iPlayer.